|The first international minigolf tournament in Kosovo ended in Austrian victory
On July 27-28 the young WMF member Kosovo organized Kosovo Open 2012, the first international tournament in the country on Prishtina Golf’s MOS course.
Kosovan players had earlier participated in WAGM 2011, WAGM 2012 and Istanbul Minigolf Stream Cup 2011. Now a total of eight international players from Germany, Austria, Turkey and Finland found their way to Kosovo. Ten Kosovan players participated along the internationals.
The weather got hotter day by day as the weekend proceeded. Home team players showed that they know the tricks of their course very well. The question was, if they can cope with the pressure of the competition. The international players learned more and more about the par-64 course and it was soon obvious that rounds of under 60 are a must and rounds of 55 or better are really good.
The living legend of minigolf and one of the best ambassadors of our sport worldwide, Karl Lakos from Austria (has played more than 1.000 competitions in his career and won over 200 of them) started best with a fantastic 52, followed by Tony Koch of Germany with great 53. The others could not do better than 59. Soon also the Kosovan players got going and Sebastian Heine of Germany, having already looked strong in practice, started to move up in the rankings.
After five rounds the cut was set at 12 players who played one more final round. Karl had managed to offer another 52 on Saturday morning, but in the final Pasi Aho of Finland managed to snap the course record with 51, which however moved him only to place 5 together with Tony Koch, both being one shot behind Liridon Mehmeti of Kosovo on 4th place.
The top three went together in one group to the final round. Sebastian Heine could not put enough pressure on Karl and Arton Krasniqi of Kosovo, and had to settle with 3rd place at the end. Arton had played better and better all the time and challenged Karl on the last lanes with a strong finish. At the beginning of the final round Arton was already leading for a while, but Karl pulled back and had to sink a 80 cm-putt on the last lane to secure the first price and the gold medal. A great victory for the great sportsman.
All international players thought that the experience in Kosovo was very, very positive. The young federation and the organizer team did a great job to make us feel very welcome and comfortable in Prishtina. Thank you once again!
The course proved to be very interesting (I admit that I had my doubts before) and fair at the end, even if it was very different from all those we have played so far. I hope that the Kosovan players could also win new experiences from this event with international players and will use them when visiting the next international events, e.g. in Porto and Istanbul!
Thank you once again, Lavdim, Arben, Arton and all the others who made our visit unforgettable!
WMF Sport Director